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Introduction to fertilizer planning for beginning farmers

EAST LANSING, MI. – A detailed fertilizer plan helps to meet the nutrient needs of your crop at the lowest possible cost.

As a young or beginning farmer, you may be raising crops to reduce feed costs or to sell on the market. One of the important decisions in crop production is deciding how much fertilizer you should apply. Fertilizer application focuses on meeting the nutrient needs of the crop you’ll grow. Apply too much fertilizer and potential profits are reduced. Apply too little fertilizer and there is not enough production. To meet the nutrient needs and produce a profitable crop, you’ll need to create a fertilizer plan.

The latest publication from the Michigan State University Extension Beginning Farmers DEMaND series explores the process of creating a fertilizer plan and how it can help reduce the impacts to revenue. This includes spending some time understanding the soil and the available nutrients within it. You’ll also learn about the available forms of fertilizer and the methods of applying them to the soil. Using the information collected from both the soil and the available fertilizer options, you’ll begin to create a fertilizer plan for the farm. And finally, understand what the costs are in the plan and their impacts on farm revenue.

Download the latest bulletin in the Beginning Farmers DEMaND (Developing and Educating Managers and New Decision-makers) series today ( to begin learning about the importance of fertilizer planning to your farm business.